Ask locals for restaurant recommendations in New Orleans, and almost everybody mentions Jacques-Imo's. We understand why: cornbread muffins swimming in butter, steak smothered in blue-cheese sauce, and the insane yet wickedly brilliant shrimp and alligator-sausage cheesecake. That’s the attitude at Jack Leonardi’s exceedingly popular restaurant: die, happily, with butter and heavy sauces sweating out of your pores.

Jacques is a few doors from the famous Maple Leaf Bar, and many people make an evening out of these two spots. But you don’t need an excuse to dine at this dive-cum-haute-cuisine outpost. On busy nights expect long waits.